Hurdler Dai Greene warns youngsters over rail shortcuts

World champion 400m hurdler Dai Greene is leading a new Network Rail safety campaign Dai Greene is the World 400m hurdles champion

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Olympic gold medal hopeful Dai Greene is leading a safety campaign aimed at young people who risk their lives by taking shortcuts across train tracks.

In an online advert, Welsh athlete Greene races across the tracks while an imaginary train is coming - but the champion hurdler does not make it.

Forty-nine people were killed last year trespassing on the rail network, according to Network Rail figures.

Trespassing also cost the industry £9m and caused 15 days of delays last year.

BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott said there were hundreds of near misses each year.

Saturday night

Most were young men and most incidents occurred on a Saturday night, our correspondent said.

Dyan Crowther, of Network Rail, said: "When we have an event like this we are required to stop our trains, to caution them and obviously there's the impact on the business that that entails."

Train driver of 14 years Martin Crowe told the BBC: "I hope that people realise what it does to us and the dangers they are putting themselves in.

"Nine out of 10 times they might get away with it but that 10th time could be the end of it."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    It's darwinism

    Young male monkeys swing about in the trees to impress the girl monkeys with their amazing abilities, thereby proving their genetic and physical superiority over their male rivals

    ...and some of them fall out of the tree (...crunch)

    Don't blame the poor boys, blame 10 million years of evolution and girls! ;-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    I overheard a few idle youngsters bragging how "cool" they were to jump around the railtrack and step away just when the trains were approaching. I did not know "being cool" nowadays means putting your own life and others' at risks. There is a thin line being a fool and being a memory. But the fools think they are heroes! *shrugs*

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    A young person is indestructible and immortal.
    Nothing bad will ever, could ever happen to them.
    Until it happens.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    13.mrcynict4 - "Some people are so daft or boozed up. You can't legislate for stupidity."

    Indeed not, which is where awareness raising campaigns can help. If just one of a group of pissed up mates says "wait a minute, stop" when the group suggest playing chicken it might give the others pause for thought - peer pressure can be a powerful influence, let's empower the sensible ones in each group.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    #12 are you seriously suggesting that only drunken idiots would join the army? Take it from someone who HAS come under fire that when mortar shells start landing in your camp you feel very, very mortal indeed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Some people are so daft or boozed up. You can't legislate for stupidity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    When you're a young bloke you are indestructible and you are going to live forever

    When you're a young bloke and full of booze you are indestructible, ...and you're superman!
    (plus the girls are watching you too)

    If young blokes didn't have this mindset to start with the army would never be able to find anyone daft enough to run through a hail of machine gun bullets

    You can't have it both ways

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    6.bangmyheadonthewall - "......We are all taught how to cross roads and railway lines at school...."

    You might have been, but I wasn't, at any of the 2 primary & 2 secondary schools I attended.......roads yes, but rail tracks? Never mentioned once.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Most were young men and most incidents occurred on a Saturday night

    The implication being that they were so full of booze no campaign in the world would help in that situation

    It's mainly a boy thing, and booze is a factor

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    comment 5. They should have the commonsense to know what is dangerous, if fact play "chicken" for fun & probably do not care of trauma of drivers/others feelings. People in cars always seem to be wanting to get to destination "quicker" rather than in safety. Why does it have to be someone elses responsibility to "teach" that its not safe to cross. For a start its the parents then its choice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    When you`re young you believe you`re indestructible, tragically a lot find out that it`s not the case. You can only push your luck so far, eventually you will push it that little bit too far and you end up as just another statistic. The anguish left behind because of your stupidity lasts a lifetime.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    To back up #3 I've been on a train that hit someone (a suicide I believe). Everyone in the front carriage heard and saw far too much. Its pretty traumatic for everyone on board. God knows what the driver saw.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    The rail companies do everything right : signage, trackside phones, warning lights, etc. If someone is fool enough to cross the line at an unofficial place, fool enough to cross without looking, then they are to blame for their predicament.
    We are all taught how to cross roads and railway lines at school so there is no excuse.

    Even drunk people are responsible for their own actions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    The number of people who do things many of take for granted as being dangerous is the exact reason for the rise of the whole Health & Safety culture - someone needs to teach folk what is/isn't safe & society isn't doing it on it's own........the dodgy stunts predated the rise of H&S.......

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Please spare a thought for the poor train driver and the clean up teams that have to attend to these incidents

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    I wonder what it will take for the fools who mess around near train tracks realise the danger they're putting themselves in. A few years ago a lady and her grandson accidentally tripped on a railway crossing and got killed by a train, yet I still see gangs of teenagers hanging around there. Unfortunately it will take more tragedies before this hits home.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    There was a man called Darwin who described this theory of evolution, ergo if you're stupid enough to jump down on to a railway track or try to run across it you're probably not someone we want in the gene pool of humanity. Stop blaming train companies and network rail for what is ultimately an individuals decision to do something stupid.


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